Last night, when I couldn’t sleep, stupid things ran thru my mind. Some of them involved dumb sports entertainment.
1) Does Jericho get two title reigns for the Undisputed Tournament at Armageddon ’01? He wins the WCW Title from the Rock, and the WWF one from Austin. I think, in the method of counting where Flair gets an extra title reign when WCW creates it’s own belts, that’s two, but I think you could make a case that it was really a tournament for a new World championship and so the semi-finals weren’t what we’d consider title matches. Or not.
Questions like this are why I’m in no hurry to do World Title histories.
2) The other thing I’ve picked up – I’ve been working on the indices and did some work on the last month of ’01 – is you can actually claim the original implied claim that the RAW World Heavyweight Championship should be considered the continuation of the NWA/WCW run, and not a new title, without sounding HHH level desperate about.
On the RAW after Survivor Series, Vince renamed the WCW Title “the World Heavyweight Championship”, which is the name we all now know and love/tolerate. It’s not a NWA/WCW title situation, because it was just a renaming, not a replacing – the lineage is still there.
From there, it’s creative storytelling time. I think a good .com writer could spin a yarn about new co-owners Vince and Ric co-sponsoring the championship – it’s Undisputed, but it’s still the World and WWE titles together to make it Undisputed. When they split the shows, the Undisputed champion is so because they have RAW’s biggest title and SD’s biggest title, and the two title claim is strong. And when Brock jumps exclusively to SD!, GM Eric is no longer creating a new championship, but withdrawing his brand’s recognition of Brock as unified champion because of his unwillingness to defend, and declaring his #1 contender as default champion, but to the championship RAW’s been recognizing all along, the World Heavyweight Championship.
The common way of phrasing this ends with the SD! belt being the Undisputed WCW/WWE Title and RAW’s belt being a new made up thing. Instead, I believe the SD! title could be called the WWE title and the RAW title could be the new WCW one. In fact, I’m leaning towards that idea at the moment, because it’s a more elegant explanation – only the arrogance of how they initially presented the idea is hurting the cause.
When they switched from having two belts to having one belt (WM?) probably makes this story easier or harder to tell. (Ideally, Jericho and HHH would’ve kept it as two belts till the split – you can claim there are two championships being defended if there are two belts or two brands, but if there’s only one of each, it’s a bit of a leap.) My mind’s fuzzy on this, but I’m not bothering to look it up – I guess that shows how much this is actually bugging me.
It’s a two lane road merging into one lane, and back out to two. Do you have a new lane, or a reappearance of an old one?
It could not be understated how terrible unconvincing this was at the time, but I guess it’s kinda surprising to me that may have actually had the material to back up what they were saying, and failed to use it. Though I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise with the way they don’t remember three weeks ago.
This is ALSO why I haven’t blah blah blah, I don’t know if any of that makes sense. It’s also all garbage because it’s a wrestling belt and tonight they could declare only past champions who liked Swiss cheese actually existed, for all it matters.
3) More I thought about it, the more it really did bug me that La Resistance was in that title match last night.
It’s not the thought of Grenier and Conway getting yet another tag team title shot is offensive; I wasn’t looking forward to it and still am not, but it’s the cost of living for watching the RAW shows, which anyone who does for any length of time acknowledges and accepts. It’s slightly annoying, but you can deal with it.
The problem, instead, is they went out of their way to do a Last Chance stipulation, and then three weeks later, completely ignored it. We didn’t need the Last Chance bit, but by giving it and ignoring it later, they’re only showing how it never mattered and we’re fools for even paying the slightest bit attention to what they say.
The match could’ve been easily booked to the same end with La Resistance (Heart Throbs or Simon and Maven could’ve been the heel team to beat Tajiri and Regal only to lose to Hurricane and Rosey) – so in the end, the stipulation seems to only happen for the sole purpose of ignoring it as soon as it’s easy. Like they just did it to be incredibly annoying.